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Saturday, March 30, 2013

When Life Gives you Lemons...

Eating a lemon and loving it!

When life gives you lemons, you eat them! That is what a baby would do. The law of babies isn't always what you expect according to regular adult idioms an d expressions.

Because, as opposed to adult conventional wisdom, when life gives you a recycling bin full of paper, you empty it!

And then you play with the bin.

Who needs toys?

And who says bars are only for adults?

Or that pasta is just for the mature with supposedly more developed taste buds?

BOWLS full of pasta!
Or that speeches are just for politicians?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Twin Purpose

We may not be twins, but we are still double the work!
Dual purpose babies - this is how we roll
Two babies vs. two adults. Who wins in such a situation? It may seem evenly matched according to the numbers, but truthfully, two adults isn't enough to compete with two babies. Take the above photos for example: Who is going to dispose of the soiled diapers after they are removed from us and before we grab them with our quick fingers and fling them - and their contents - around the living room?

Two babies means adults must act fast and try to outthink us. That is not easy. Mimi and GongGong had to think ahead, as seen in this photo, and bring a plastic bag for the diapers and somehow remove them before we got our hands into them. Of course, there was another available adult - the one taking the photo and taking a momentary reprieve from parenting. Although, photographing one's children can be considered a necessary parenting obligation, so she gets a pass in this case.

The previous night, mommy and abba conspired while we slept. They stayed up late into the night and into the wee hours of the morning watching a TV show called Super Nanny, which was aired in a parenting dream marathon of endless episodes. Mommy and abba were taking notes in hopes of becoming wiser and understanding us better. So who wins in this situation: The parents who tried to better inform themselves on the advice of a professional in how to care for unruly babies, or the babies who rested during those hours thereby storing up even more energy for tantrums with more gusto than usual while the well informed parents were too sleep deprived to recall any word of advice spoken in the TV show?

Abba, however, explained the addiction to the reality show a little different. He enjoyed watching it because these other children featured on the show made us seem even more like the angels that we are. Now they can appreciate us, even in our meltdowns!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Out for a Swing

We babies can't stay in the house forever despite your bad weather, New York! And so, we were whisked out into the bitter chilled air once - and I mean literally once in about a week - in order to enjoy the outdoors. Thank God there were swings to brighten up an otherwise dreary day.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Childproofing: FAIL

The wild eyes of an energetic baby. Beware!
Maniacal laughter! You cannot out-babyproof me!

We continue to gleefully point out the flaws in efforts to baby-proof the house here in Queens. It was a futile effort though vigorously attempted and much appreciated. A real "a" for effort!

While they had the basics covered, like electrical outlets and door stoppers, Mimi and GongGong quickly became aware shortly after our arrival of what was not covered:

  • Doors on the china cabinet concealing valuable breakables
  • Dresser drawers near my pack-and-play from which I emptied all of Zia Em's "clothes" onto the floor
  • Buttons on DVD players, stereos and cable boxes precariously close to ground/baby level
  • Easy-to-open garbage pail and recycling bin full of intriguing items
  • Dishwasher handle temptingly low enough for us to open revealing more fun breakables
  • Poinsettia plant with stalks just asking to be ripped from the root
  • GongGong's side of the bed, where flashlights and other fun electronic equipment lurk
Those are just a few of the items we have found. We have also noticed that while door stoppers are good to keep fingers out of harm's way they do not prevent heads from being caught in the door. I taught that to Lucas several times already.

Needless to say, even with five adults in the house there is no dearth of baby herding that goes on in an attempt to keep us far from harm and, well, alive. In the perceptive words of Aunt Beanie: It doesn't take a village, it takes a State of New York. 

Zia Em and I appreciating the damage

Don't blame me if the drawers were too
close to my bed
Innocent as charged

Wreaking havoc in the airport before
taking off for the US with abba trailing

Getting the energy out of our systems
before boarding...

...As if. We have an endless
reserve of energy.

Friday, March 8, 2013

And a Nor'Easter Blows into Town - Me!

Snowballs for breakfast

You can't get this stuff in Jerusalem!
Surprisingly, I am in New York. Not so surprisingly, hours after my arrival, a Nor'Easter also arrived and there are 8 inches of snow on the ground already! When I blow into town, I really blow into town!

The surprise is me being in NY at all. It was completely unplanned. But due to fate and some work events (not mine), we are here less than 24 hours after booking tickets, I arrived in all of my glory, along with Lucas, dragging behind us our bedraggled parents who looked rather weary after our 12-hour flight.

Because it was such short notice, we succeeded in surprising not just ourselves but Nanni and Aunt Beanie too - and probably many of you reading this blog post! Mimi and GongGong needed to be forewarned so that they could Lucas-proof the house. They tried but we quickly showed them how their efforts fell short on many levels. Its not their fault, it's just that we babies are so enterprising that an adult's brain cannot comprehend the lengths to which we would go to wreak havoc on an otherwise peaceful home.

For the first time ever, we were the family with that baby on the plane. You know, the annoying baby that no one wants to sit near because he cries nonstop. That was Lucas. He ran the gamut of emotional extremes. He moaned, he cried, and then at one point he was so entertaining the other passengers that someone mistakenly surmised that "Lucas must be the outgoing one and Daniel must be the quiet mild mannered one." That was due to my calm and peaceful nature on the plane, as I am en expert and experienced transatlantic traveler already. But the truth is we are both the outgoing, dramatic, entertaining, naughty one at times one each in our own special ways.

Now we are bunkered down for the day in the house because of the snow and miserable conditions outside. But then again, after our 2 to 4:30 a.m. jet lagged pajama party, perhaps it is better we stay inside and close to our beds for the day!

Reacquainting myself with Zia Em!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Victory in the Jerusalem Marathon goes to the Babies

Mommy's biggest fans waiting, and bored, at the finish line

We came.

We saw.

We waited!

And waited... 

Running, I've learned, is not a spectator's sport. Especially when you are confined and strapped into a stroller as thousands of people sprint by you as free as birds.

Worse still is the task of wheeling said stroller through blocked off roads for hours in order to reach a finish line to be further bored by the non-spectator sport. Therefore, the victory of marathon day goes to abba and Jireh who accomplished something more difficult than running a half marathon in Jerusalem: They carted Lucas and I to the finish line in time to welcome mommy. Nay, to wait for mommy. And then to welcome her.

Kudos to abba and Jireh for most
successfully completing most grueling
competition of the day: Carting two babies,
two strollers, lots of baby equipment
to the finish line
And as we waited, mommy was out there setting a personal record (PR) for Worst.Half.Marathon.Ever.  It wasn't her finest moment.

But that's okay. After all in the last few weeks, she's run full 26.2-mile marathons daily just chasing Lucas and I around, and for that she deserves a medal.

Nevertheless, mommy was spurred on to continue running in the actual Jerusalem race thanks to two major inspirations: Team Shalva and - a recent addition - the esteemed Joules Evans.

Team Shalva was comprised of really cool people from around the world who decided to raise money for Shalva in exchange for the grueling opportunity to run around Jerusalem's hellacious hills. This year, Team Shalva more than doubled from last year! There were 250 runners including several of my friends from around J-town like Alisha Wallenstein, Kathryn Morgan, Steven Taylor and Mati Shoshani. Shout outs to them AND to all the people who supported mommy and these runners. You are all awesome! Shalva was able to raise 1.3 million shekels thanks to you! I think that's about $350,000. Wow. I will not take my superior care for granted tomorrow as I head to school at Shalva.

Here I am high-fiving Jacques Fragis of Team Shalva
after he finished the half marathon!

Abba and I

Then there was Joules from Cincinnati, who we only met a few days ago but she is friends with my girlfriend Hallel and Gaby, her mommy. Joules proved to be a super-duper running partner and an inspiration on many levels to mommy during the run. First of all, it was like running with a celebrity since Joules' pink spiked hair was recognized by anyone who is friends with Gaby on Facebook (and there are many) or who read the Jerusalem Post that morning, where Joules was featured.

Secondly, Joules is an intrepid defeater of cancer. She is connected to a network of other conquerors who are now living large and sincerely. Therefore, running with Joules was an intentional enjoyment of every moment from soaking in the Jerusalem vistas, enduring the agony of the city's never-ending hills, and experiencing the sense of accomplishment of crossing a finish line simply because you could -because you are alive.

Starting line.
Kilometer 15 (of 21)

Kilometer 15 (way too much exhilaration going on here)

Hours later, and still smiling!

And that my friends all transpired on a sunny but cool enough day in Jerusalem. A perfect day for a race - whether in or out of a stroller.

Kathryn supported "Team Daniel" - a small part of Team Shalva.
And I supported her in spirit, while asleep, in her first 10K!
(Remember - not a spectator's sport!)

Mati and Steven added some pride to Team Daniel.
And their fans waited less than we did!

The running continued right away as mommy chased
Lucas around the post-race party. After 13 miles.